Mother?s Day and baby eagles
Mother’s Day is never easy when your own mom is gone. Mine died close to 11 years ago, yet it seems like only yesterday when I watched her pass gently from this earthly world. I miss her more than I can explain.
With all the time that has passed since she’s been gone, I sometimes find myself a little taken aback when my eyes still water when I think of her. For me there is a definite inexplicable void, one, that I have come to learn, will probably never be filled no matter how much I try.
There are plenty of times when little life snippets pop into my head though, many with mom by my side. One of those times was just the other day, when I heard some baby birds chirping from a nest high up in a tree.
Immediately my mind flipped back to a memory when a robin built a nest in a bush in our backyard. I must have been four or five years old and the cheeping coming from that grassy cup made me want to see what was inside. That’s when mom lifted me up so we both could look at the three tiny birds snuggled together in a feathery ball. I was totally and absolutely enthralled.
Although I wanted to check on “my birds” all the time, mom explained that if I did that the mama might not want to return and all the babies would die. But every once in a while she would give me a boost, and then, cheek to cheek we would look down on the ever growing family in wonder. I never tired of it.
A few weeks ago, I read an article about a pair of eagles that hatched a family in a big nest in Decorah, Iowa. While eagles are no doubt caring for babies all over the country right now, this particular nest has a video camera trained on it, giving humans a rare experience to watch these birds, up close, raise their young.
Admirably, this particular eagle couple has hatched out three eaglets. The first one came into this world on April 3 and its siblings a day after. Every day I tune in to see how this feathered family is faring. I am totally enchanted with the tenderness they show not only to their little babies, but each other as well.
When these chicks were just hatched and only fuzzy little balls, the mother sat on them through wind, snow and rain storms. Her diligence is phenomenal, always at the ready to defend the young ones from any enemy. However, it is at feeding time when I am most spellbound.
While these are large and mighty birds, the mom eagle takes upmost care when offering her children nourishment. She pulls a shred of flesh from a fish or rodent dad brings in, and then tenderly holds it out for the babies. She makes sure the pieces are just the right size, gently offering the food at the end of her beak. If a chick drops it, she picks it up and waits for the little eaglet to try again.
When I found the website where this scenario is playing out, I was captivated and for some reason the image of my Mom and I looking down into that nest long ago came to mind. For a few days I wondered why and then as I watched the mother eagle tenderly feed her babies it came to me.
It was the maternal instincts of this bird that pierced my heart and reminded me of my own Mom, and that day long ago when we both, cheek to cheek, looked down into that nest of small baby birds.
Over the years I have come to wonder less and less why the memory of my mother pops into my mind so randomly. I have come to realize that my mom is everywhere and in everything I do. She is in my smile and laugh; in the breeze that gently sways the trees in my woods; in the scent of lilacs drifting through my window on a warm June night; and in the warmness of a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven. I see her often in the face of my son, Jake, who made her a grandma and whom she utterly and unabashedly adored.
If you are so lucky to look into the eyes of your own mom this Mother’s Day, do so with a deep and unending gratitude. While she will always be with you no matter what in some shape or form, never take for granted those loving eyes or warm hugs here on earth. They will sustain you more than you know.
To watch the eagle family Google decorah eagle cam 2014 live.
Mom’s Frozen Fruit Cups
4 cups frozen peaches, thawed and chopped into large chunks
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 cans crushed pineapple, drained
1 can fruit cocktail, drained
6 medium firm bananas, chopped into chunks
1 small can frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide fruit mixture up into small plastic cups and freeze. Make sure to take out of the freezer, 15 to 20 minutes before serving.